Honey authenticity testing and geographical origin
Honey is composed mainly of carbohydrates (∼82%), water (∼17%), protein, vitamins and minerals. The benefits of honey in health are numerous which makes it a highly demanded product by consumers and at the same time a big victim of adulteration. This sweet gold is in the TOP 10 list of products that are most at risk of food fraud, according to the EU Commission (report of December 2013 *1), while the Codex Alimentarius Commission has created the set standard for honey to protect the health of the consumers and to ensure fair trade practices (*2). The most common frauds are the additional sugars and the mislabeled geographical origin.
Detection of added sugar
Differentiation between C3-sugar and C4-sugar
Imprint Analytics GmbH has developed multi-isotope tools to determine and check the geographical origin of honey. The aim is to detect mislabeled products of lower price based on the declaration of their origin through analytical proof. Traceability is secured by the efficient differentiation of honeys produced in distinctly different geographical and climatic areas.
Detection of added sugars
Imprint Analytics GmbH provides high quality accredited services, offering a competitive package of honey authenticity testing. Additional sugars coming from C4 plants (sugar cane, corn syrup) in honey increase the value of the stable carbon isotope ratio of the bulk material. The comparison between the bulk honey and the isolated protein allows the detection of C4 sugars, according to the AOAC 998.12 *3 The combined use of HPLC and IRMS techniques allows the sugar-specific δ13C determination in honey, expanding the detection to additional sugars coming from C3 plants (sugar beet).
*1 European Parliament Report (2013). On the food crisis, fraud chain and the control thereof (2013/2091 (INI)). Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+REPORT+A7-2013-0434+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN)
*2 CODEX STAN 12-1981. REVISED CODEX STANDARD FOR HONEY CODEX STAN 12-1981, Rev.1 (1987), Rev.2 (2001). ( http://teca.fao.org/resource/codex-alimentarius-honey-standard)
*3 AOAC Official Method 998.12. C4 Plant Sugars in Honey Internal Standard Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio Method